Funding & Scholarships

Mrs. Barnard with first students to receive scholarship in honour of late husband

Pictured from left to right are Friderike Spang, Mrs. Margot Bernard, and Atilla Ataner. Mrs. Barnard generously endowed scholarship awards in political philosophy in memory of her late husband, Frederick M. Barnard. Friderike and Atilla are past recipients of the Barnard Scholarship.


Graduate Student Funding

The basic funding package for MA and PhD students is normally a combination of Graduate Teaching Assistant salary (which requires being at Western during the academic year) and the supplementary Western Graduate Research Scholarship (WGRS) which is automatically applied toward tuition.  The funding package is set out in the offer of admission.  PhD students should be aware that Western and the Department of Political Science cannot offer funding beyond the fourth year.  PhD students are eligible to apply to a fund within the Department. The Research, Training and Development Fund (RTDF) is designed to support current PhD students in terms of collecting data, accessing specialized methods training, and attending conferences. For more information, see awards and scholarships information below.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are a 10 hour per week, or 140 hours per term appointment during the academic year and is governed by the Collective Agreement between the University and the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Fees and Tuition

Fees are paid by term. Graduate students must be continually enrolled each term until completion of all program requirements. There are three terms per year: Fall term, Winter term, Summer term. See Tuition Fee Schedule.

For detailed information on fees, payment schedules, tax information, and financial counselling please visit the Office of the Registrar website.

Awards and Scholarships

A variety of internal and external scholarship opportunities are available at Western that reward academic excellence and support graduate student research.  A full listing and detailed information on Western, Provincial, National and International scholarship and award opportunities is provided on the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) Funding Opportunities webpage. Information on selected opportunities is provided below.

Department Awards

The Barnard Scholarship in Political Philosophy at Western

Mrs. Margot Barnard has generously endowed a scholarship trust in memory of her late husband, Frederick Mechner Barnard who was a distinguished political theorist and intellectual historian at Western from 1970 until his retirement in 1985. The F.M. Barnard Scholarship Trust offers scholarships to graduate students in political philosophy, entering MA or PhD programs in either Political Science or Philosophy at Western.

A condition of these awards is that recipients must propose to work under the supervision of a member of the Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy Research Group. A list of current members and their interests may be found below.

Awarded annually, the Barnard Scholarships may be held during the first year of a student’s program. The awards are additional to the regular funding provided by departments. No special application is needed: recipients will be selected from the applicant pool by a committee appointed by the Chairs of Political Science and Philosophy.

Value: $20,000

Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy Research Group: Faculty Members

Andrew Botterell
BA McGill; PhD MIT; JD Toronto
Philosophy of Law, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind

Samantha Brennan
BA Dalhousie; PhD Illinois
Political Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Feminist Ethics

Barry Hoffmaster
BA Dartmouth; MA, PhD Minnesota
Philosophy of Law, Ethics, Biomedical Ethics

Charles Jones
BA Toronto; MA Windsor; MPhil London; PhD London School of Economics
Contemporary Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Global Justice

Tracy Isaacs
BA, MA Toronto; PhD MIT
Action Theory, Ethics, Feminist Ethics

Dennis Klimchuk
BA, MA Manitoba; PhD Toronto
Philosophy of Law, Political Philosophy, History of Ethics

Carolyn McLeod
BA, MA Queen’s; PhD Dalhousie
Ethics, Feminist Philosophy, Health Care Ethics

Michael Milde
BA, MA Queen’s; PhD Calgary
Social and Political Thought

Karen Nielsen
Cand.mag. University of Trondheim; Cand. philol. University of Trondheim; MA Cornell; PhD Cornell
Ancient Philosophy, especially Ethics and Theory of Action

Anthony Skelton
BA Manitoba; MA Dalhousie; PhD Toronto
Ethics, History of Ethics, Practical Ethics

Richard Vernon
MA Cantab; PhD London
Contemporary Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Theories of Justice, Rights, Democracy, Pluralism and Obligation

Charles Weijer
BMdSc; MD Alberta; BA, MSc, PhD McGill
Biomedical Ethics, Philosophy of Medical Science

Dr. Harold D. Clarke Graduate Quantitative Research Methodology Fellowship

Awarded annually to a full-time graduate student in the PhD program in Political Science, based on demonstrated ability and interest in Quantitative Research Methodology. Preference will be given to students who have defended a dissertation proposal that includes quantitative research and who have successfully completed PS 9592. The Political Science Graduate Committee will select the recipient from nominations by faculty members (supervisors or course instructors) received at the end of the winter term in each year. Typically only one fellowship will be awarded each year but in exceptional years two strong candidates could both receive fellowships.

Value: $5,000

Dr. Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon Graduate Scholarship

Awarded annually to a full-time graduate student who is in a doctoral program in the Faculty of Social Science, and based on academic achievement and research merit with preference given to students in Political Science, candidates will be PhD students whose thesis research focuses on promoting one or more of the following: women’s human rights, women’s equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s full participation in decision-making in at least one level of governance.

Through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship Matching Policy, this $5,000 scholarship will be worth a total of $15,000.

Value: $15,000  

Clara and Angelo LaSelva Graduate Scholarship in Political Science

Awarded annually to a full-time graduate student in a Masters or PhD program in Political Science, based on academic achievement.  Preference will be given to a student in the first year of their program specializing in the history of political thought, contemporary political theory, or the intersection between political theory and another field of political science. The Political Science Graduate Awards Committee will select the recipient. At least one member of this committee must hold membership in the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Exceptional PhD students may receive this scholarship twice; Masters students may receive it only once.  This scholarship was established by the LaSelva family in memory of their parents, Clara and Angelo LaSelva.

Clara and Angelo LaSelva (of Castellion del Biferno, Italy and St. Catharines, Ontario) took great pride in the fact that several of their children and grandchildren attended Western.

Value: 1 scholarship valued at $10,000

Research, Training and Development Fund (RTDF)

Political Science PhD students are eligible to apply to the RTDF to support their research and professional development.  Students can request up to $2,500.  The RTDF is meant to partially subsidize rather than cover all expenses and students may not receive the full $2,500 requested. These funds can be used to help pay for, among other things, additional methods training (e.g. ICPSR Summer Program or short courses), dissertation research-related expenses (e.g. conducting field work, buying a sample survey) or academic conference attendance (e.g. travel, registration, accommodation and meals).  The Graduate Chair will announce a call for applications during the academic year. APPLY HERE > Application Form 

Faculty Awards

Social Science Graduate Alumni Awards - For graduate student academic excellence combined with financial need.  Applications are due the first Monday of May.

Faculty of Social Science Graduate Research Awards Fund - Designed to support the costs of research undertaken by full-time graduate students.  Applications are due by the third Monday in March.


All students are encouraged to apply for Social Science and Humanities Research Council, (SSHRC), grants. PhD students in particular are encouraged to apply for these scholarships, not merely because of the financial advantage but also because grant-writing is an essential part of academic training, and success in acquiring grants will be essential to finding employment in the highly competitive academic job market. For information about Ontario student loans see OSAP/Government Student Loans.

SGPS offers scholarship application support through general information sessions, a “Consult the Experts Series”, and scholarship library.  Detailed information on these programs is available on their Funding Opportunities page under Scholarship Application Support.

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)

OGS awards are merit-based scholarships available to students in all disciplines of graduate study. The OGS program is jointly funded by the Province of Ontario and Ontario universities.  OGS can be offered to domestic students who are (or will be) registered in full-time, research-based graduate programs.  International students do not apply for an OGS (nomination based).

Annual Value: $15,000

Detailed information on eligibility and allocation of awards is available on the SGPS Funding Opportunities page.  

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and Master’s Graduate Scholarships seek to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly-qualified personnel in the social sciences and humanities.

Value: $17,500 for Master's CGS and up to $35,000 for a Doctoral Award

Detailed information on this Program is available on the SGPS Funding Opportunities webpage.

Application Due: Political Science due date is normally early October.


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